1. How long do I need to travel Vietnam?
Vietnam has so much to offer. It could take someone 3 months to see and experience everything. Here are some suggestions that have worked for our clients in the past:
Just the the North: from Hanoi, make a two-day trip to Halong Bay and / or Mai Chau followed by a day trip to the Perfume Pagoda and /or Tam Coc. Spend the remaining time exploring the delights, foods and culture in the Hanoi capital.
Just the South: from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), it is possible to do a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels and / or a two to three-day tour of the Mekong Delta (include some cycling for added adventure). The rest of the time can be spent sightseeing, eating, shopping and carousing meandering in the city.
Note that highlights of the following two options can also be combined; a typical whirlwind tour means flying into Hanoi, exploring the area (including Halong Bay and / or Sapa) then making a beeline to Hue or Hoi An before heading south to Ho Chi Minh City (or vice versa). Excursion airline tickets allowing such a routing are common, and recommended to avoid backtracking.
Just the North: follow the above one-week itinerary for the north adding a day or two here and there, then take a spin into the northwest mountains (especially Sapa & Bac Ha) and / or a trip to Cuc Phuong, Ba Be or Cat Ba National parks.
Just the South: a two-week visit to the south will allow for the one-week itinerary above adding a day or two here and there, followed by a loop up to Dalat, and back down to the beaches in and around Nha Trang and / or Mui Ne. Time permitting, you could then head to Hoi An and fly back to HCM city from Da Nang or Hue.
A month is enough time to take in most of Vietnam's major sights. Starting in the South (this itinerary can also be followed in reverse from Hanoi), follow the two-week itinerary as far as Hoi An or Da Nang before pressing on to Hue. Take a DMZ tour out of Hue, then travel on to Ha Noi. Either fly out of Hanoi or continue overland to China or beyond.
Two months will allow ample time to see everything in more detail. In addition to our other suggested itineraries, explore the Mekong Delta more thoroughly, with a side trip to lovely Phu Quoc Island. You could spend a few extra days lingering on the giant sand dunes at Mui Ne Beach (near Phan Thiet), south of Nha Trang. A trip to the western part of the central highlands should include a visit to Dalat. Don’t forget Phong Nha and Paradise Cave to the north of the DMZ. In the north and far north, you can explore remote areas such as Dien Bien Phu, Ha Giang, Cao Bang and Bai Tu Long Bay.
Tip: Arrange a vacation to Vietnam lasting at least 3 weeks so that you will have chance to discover most of the highlights.
2. Process of planning / booking a tour?
Footprint is an expert in custom-made tours, we listen to your needs and travel wishes, then plan a tour to perfectly suit you. A normal plan for a trip would go through the steps below:
1. Take a look at some information about Vietnam, our tours and services offered.
2. Identify your travel needs and travel wishes and then send them to Footprint via email. Go to the Trip Planer to make this step easy.
3. One of our travel consultants will take care of you. It will take about a day to process. Then we will send you an email with a draft travel itinerary developed from your ideas.
4. We wait for your approval and / or revisions. Any changes that might need to be worked on will be done between you and your Footprint Travel consultant. You will email back and forth until your trip is absolutely perfect.
5. Next is booking. We would need all the information related for your travel in Vietnam: full name, nationality, sex, age, passport & visa numbers, arrival & departures dates, etc.
6. By submitting your booking with us, you have agreed to our terms and conditions. This is like a contract signed between the you (the clients) and Footprint (the company).
7. A Footprint Travel consultant will then check the services and confirm with you the availability, (please think of the alternatives if one or more of your tour services are fully booked). However, this happens very rarely.
8. Payment and reconfirmation of the booking with you by us.
9. Last, tour services on operation by us. Now you will need to relax and we take care of the rest!
Tip: It is the best that you plan your own trip with us 3 to 4 months beforehand so that you will not have to deal with unavailability.
3. What are set tours and custom tours?
A set tour is more like a ready-made tour or package tour, where you just book and get the instant confirmation. However, if you wish to tailor-make a tour program to suite your travel needs that's ok too. It is actually what we at Footprint specialize in. Please talk to one of our travel consultants and start planning your trip today!
Tip: Look at the sample tours on our website before planning your custom tours to Vietnam. It will give you all kinds of information, ideas, and routes, as well as some suggested places to visit with descriptions. Then get creative and dream up something extra special with your Footprint Travel consultant.
4. What does "Vietnam Package Tour' mean?
Package tours or all-inclusive tours are those that are pre-designed and pre-arranged for you to holiday with ease. Not only will you travel hassle-free with these package tours, you will save time dealing with the details before and during your trip. They have also been designed to save you money for your next holiday.
Our package tours normally include: all local tour guides, transfers, ground transportations and transfers, hotels and accommodations, entrance’s fees, travel permits and most of the meals.
Tip: Leave some free-days in your package tour so that you can try something different on your own that you might have missed when planning your trip. We will always be there to help you along your way if need be.
5. Does Footprint offer group tours of just private tours? So group size will be normally small?
We are an expert in designing custom, private tours for individuals, small groups of friends, families, schools, businesses, and organizations. They are all private tours just for you or your own group. In other words, its just you and your guide (where applicable).
We do however, have some join-in group tours, like many of our Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay cruising & kayaking trips. Sometimes this makes the tours a little bit cheaper. There might be some other tours available at times, please contact one of our travel consultant to get more details.
Tip: If you travel alone it is suggested to book a join-in group tour to Halong or Bai Tu Long Bay. It will be more fun! You will probably be in a small group of about 10 persons.
6. Are meals inclusive in our tour programs? What does "(B.L.D)" mean?
We offer meals on our trips and tour packages for you to holiday and travel with ease. Although, at some sites, we leave it open to flexibility. At these times we will let you find your own restaurants or places to eat. Not to worry, we will give you a list of recommendations, and help you on your way if needed.
B stands for Breakfast, L is for Lunch, and D works for Dinner.
Tip: Check with our travel consultants or your local guides as they know the best spots to go and eat during your free time and / or your free days.
7. Please explain what you mean by NET on your tour price?
Net price is the selling price. It is the amount that you will have to pay to Footprint for our service. There will be no commissions added to, nor discounts taken from this price.
If you pay by credit card or traveler’s cheque, there will be a surcharge on this net price.
Tip: Pay us some deposit by Credit Card and the rest in Cash when you are here. You can save some money on bank transfers and credit card charges this way.
8. What do you mean "Private Tour"?
Private tours are taken by one or more passengers (all in the same party) on the date of their choice, subject to schedules and availability. In other words, private tours are just you (or your group) and your Footprint guide (and driver) - no join-in travelers. Private tours offer the following benefits:
Travel at your own pace
Private tours are very flexible, allowing you to start your sightseeing excursions whenever you choose and set your own pace while traveling. However, we have listed recommended times on the itineraries to start your days.
You have your own tour guide
Our local guides are waiting to show you their countryside and places of interest. All sightseeing excursions are accompanied with your own private English-speaking local guide. This means that you can ask as many or as few questions as you like and take sightseeing trips at your own pace, with the emphasis on your own interests.
Enjoy your private transfers, boats, etc.
Get what you pay for at huge value for your money. For the road transfers, boat trips in Halong Bay, you'll have your own air-conditioned private car and private driver, air-conditioned boat with helpful captains and crews, catering to only you. This allows you to travel in comfort and to stop off along the way if you see something of interest, want to take photographs, or stop for a break.
You will have flexibility in your accommodation
With your Footprint Travel consultant / sales, we design our private tours from high-end to economy hotels, which allows you to easily manage your budget at the level you wish. If you would like to stay in any other hotel other than those featured in the tour itinerary, or if you would like to update the standard of your room, just notify your travel consultant at Footprint. Anything can be easily arranged. You will be informed the difference in price.
10. What are differences on tour prices between Standard. Superior. Deluxe?
The two main differences are the hotel classes and type of boats / junks in Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay. Everything else will be at great international quality.
Standard means a tour is priced with lower priced rooms at hotels. Normally with economy class or 2 star hotels. Please do not expect too much in the way of amenities and service at the 2 star hotels in Vietnam.
Superior means inclusion of hotels ranging from 3 - 4 stars. This is a good quality hotel with a range of facilities, amenities and good service.
Deluxe price is often inclusive with high quality four and five-star Vietnam hotels. These are equipped with the highest quality amenities and international standards of service. With your trip to Vietnam equipped with these hotels you will ensure a fantastic holiday.
Footprint suggests using Superior hotels. We have had much feedback from our past clients from the hotels that we have chosen and the feedback has been great. These Superior packages will also save you money. Further the greater majority of the Superior hotels are Vietnamese owned, providing greater benefits to the Vietnamese community.
For boats / junks:
There are some main differences on the boat / junk types:
Space on the boat: with the standard option you would have to expect a small sized boat, and a smaller bedroom with an average sized sun deck. The Superior & Deluxe classes will have a larger sized dining area that is warm and cozy on cooler nights, and more importantly, increased comfort in your cabins (larger bed, bigger window) as well as a sun-deck (with comfortable chairs).
Toilet & shower: if you wish to have comfort and added privacy, the Standard boat will not be a good choice as the toilet is normally outside (shared bathrooms). However, the Superior class will offer a private bathroom in your cabin. Standards are even better in Deluxe class.
Facilities on the Superior and Deluxe boats are up-to-date and at an international standard. There is good air-conditioning in the cabins, fine toilet facilities whilst there is normally just a fan in the cabin on the standard boats.
Well trained, devoted and courteous staff will always make your stay unforgettable on the Superior and Deluxe junks / boats.
Tip: Halong and Bai Tu Long Bay is beautiful and we suggest you enjoy it on the Superior or Deluxe Junks. Paying a bit more will be worth every added cent you pay on this once in a lifetime experience.
11. What to do if I need to change my booking or booking details?
We suggest you contact us immediately if you decide to change your booking details. You can send us an email with your name, your booking code and all other information you would like to let us know. We will try our very best to accommodate your change or request.
12. Do I pay a change fee?
In most cases, early changes will not result in a fee, but each travel supplier or service provider will have different contractual terms with us. Please inquire directly for the change or cancellation policy for any particular tour
If we charge you a fee, in all cases, it is to pay back to hotels and other service suppliers of your bookings as we have to cancel your service arrangement with them; and, we have already been charged by them when we made the booking.
Please note that we understand that things do happen and changes need to be made. We, at Footprint, do our utmost to make things work.
Tip: Read our terms and conditions and check with our travel consultants when you are planning a trip with us about the deadline of no-charges for changes and cancellations.
ready for an adventure with us
Here are the nominees
Tropical Bike & Beach 7 Days
The Majestic Beauty Of Indochina 25 Days
Good Morning Hanoi
Hue - Bach Ma National Park Trekking 1 Day
The Hmong's Panorama - Sapa 2 Days
Trek Pu Luong & Teach English 5 Days
Mai Chau & Pu Luong Super Trek 5 Days
Community Service & Sightseeing Tour 6 Days
Tea Affair By Bike 1 Day
Cycling North East 5 Days
Amazing Cycling Mai Chau, Pu Luong & Trang An 3 Days
Quang Binh Caves - Natural Treasure 3 Days
Cruise Ha Long & Bai Tu Long 3 Days
Da Lat Trekking 1 Day
Cuc Phuong Easy Trek & Trang An 2 Days